Thursday, November 12, 2009

MY 15 / PART 1

IF you were here yesterday, you know that this post is about my picks for the 15 albums that most influenced me musically. It is a very personal list with little rhyme or reason. Just what I feel moved me in the directions my musical taste wandered. It was inspired by this post 15 Recordings, As Chosen By Donatello, With Mine To Follow
and encouraged by Suldog himself.

OOOOOkaaaaaay... As Alvin would have said. This is the beginning of musical influences in my life. Maybe its because I grew up in Fresno California... where Dave a.k.a

Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. was born and later created the fab three rodent stars. It's natural that they would have had an impact on my young life. I used to play this album to death. I still sing the song below when no one is listening and I feel like amusing my inner child.

Another very important musical influence from that period of time was Pete Seeger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia who came to my grammar school, T.L. Heaton, and sang to us in our Hattie May Hammet Hall. As he sang, used his storytelling skills and played the banjo, he gave me one of the greatest childhood memories of my life. I will never forget shaking his hand. He ties in musically throughout my life via Arlo Guthrie to the Dropkick Murphys and countless others in between. A kind and wonderful man and musician. I hope you got to see the recent PBS special about him. He is... in my personal humble opinion... one of our greatest American musical treasures.

Though I admit while I know what I like... I am no musician myself and have trouble carrying so little as a tune. This period of time was full of Chipmonks and Sing A Long With Mitch Miller and a symphony rendition of this fellow's work titled...

Pictures at an Exhibition (Mussorgsky, Modest Petrovich) - IMSLP ...

The Gnome was my favorite and I could whirl like a dervish all over the living room as it played. My father had been a jazz trumpet player once upon a time. Music was all over our house. It was unfortunate that I was musically deficient. But I did love it.

My father gave me this album for Christmas one year. I was completely bamboozled by this action. Had I asked Santa for this? NO!
Yet when I listened to it, I fell in love with Johnny Cash's smokey velvety storyteller's voice. The combination of music and story is still intoxicating to me. Johnny Cash is responsible for my love of lyrics. Even when he was not writing his own songs, he had a great ear for the stories in other writer's songs.

I know that I have told this story before... how my brother and sister influence my musical taste by giving me the albums they had purchased and cast off as unwanted.This album by Cream opened up all the doors and windows in my head.For the first time the stories in there could become, instead of merely being heard.

This is not the Zeppelin album that my sister gave me. But it is the album that I love most. Not only can you listen to it... you can play with it. There's a wheel between the cover and the inner jacket that turns... there are several cut outs where the pictures on the wheel below them can be changed as you thumb the wheel at the side. Hours and hours were spent twirling this wheel as I listened... enjoyed... giggled.

This is where my childhood merged with my more adult tastes...
Remember the little dervish child who twirled to The Gnome?
On this album Emmerson, Lake and Plamer blended my good old Mussorgsky with their brand of rock and created an extraordinary exhibition of their own.

ELP en Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade_The Gnome_Promenade Concierto . Disfrutalo . Enjoy

I am not a musician , I am a listener. What you see here is entirely from the point of view of a listener. The albums are not really in any particular order. They are in chaos, like my files in my head... and connect in ways that are mind boggling at best. It is not uncommon for me to link from one group to another because one member of a band moves to another band... and drags me behind.

I make musical connections based on a great many things... like did you know that Black Sabbith, Yes and Jabberwocky are all connected at the "Wakeman"... meaning Oliver, Adam and Rick Wakeman? (Oliver and Adam are Rick Wakeman's sons.) Or that I found Yes... because I loved the Strawbs and followed Rick Wakeman to Yes.

My favorite line from the Strawbs is "For he had yet to suffer!"

Delivered in a way that makes me want that guy to suffer.

I like almost all music. I appreciate it for a lot of reasons... the lyrics and melodies, sounds, people, stories, voices, humor, emotions evoked... etc. None of my tastes are based on any knowledge of anything I can put a solid finger on. I know only what I hear that I like for whatever reason it strikes me as a keeper.

There will be two more installments on this subject. I had to split them up... I'm too darned chatty to get it out in one post or even two. I hope you enjoy something here... today, tomorrow and the next day.

Have a wonderful Thursday... you might want to think of a "15 recordings list" yourself and join the fun.

Life with the frogs continues to be fun and interesting. Today another driving lesson for Squeaky... yikes. I baked those cookies and hid them under the frozen veggies where the boy will never look. ha. I'm just working for the weekend... to steal a line from Loverboy. Its almost here. Big grin.


  1. i was a huge johnny cash fan until i watched "i walk the line" now i'm just a big johnny cash fan.

  2. billy pilgrim-- Hummmmm... what caused the down grade?

    I myself am not a fan of the way that he treated women and he was awfully absent as a father. Not my type of guy. But the music is wonderful.

  3. What I enjoy most about your list so far is how far and wide your musical tastes range. I'd like to do this list too...but as I think about it in a preliminary way, I can already tell it would be a LOT less interesting.

    I'm with you and Loverboy, Ananda...working for the weekend :-D

  4. Um, I have some frozen veggies you can hide cookies under. Anytime, Im just throwing it out there for ya. PLEASE.... I want some oatmeal cookies, they're the best! I will even let you sing the tuna tunes if you must.

  5. laura b.-- Well that was what I thought about my list... that it would not be unteresting after the other two lists I read. Ha. I'm sure your list would interest me because it is different from mine.

    We're getting there. That weekend is about here. Yay!

  6. thebear-- Hey little girl... ya want some cookies?

    Yes... I get to sing the tuna tunes and you must sing with me! What? Hey little girl... ya want some coookies or not?

    By the way beautiful Bear... you are looking quite nice these days!

  7. That's so cool. What a fun list so far. I can't wait to see the rest of it.

  8. I love "Pictures", and have several versions. The oddestare the ELP version (yes, now "Great Gate of Kiev" has lyrics!) and the Tomita version (a lot of which sounds like someone twiddling radio dials).

    Great post. Now I have Greg Lake singing "Great Gate" in my head now. Well, a couple of weeks ago, around Halloween, I was thinking of the Baba Yaga song. I think that was one I recommended to someone for a Halloween project they were doing.

    I have a Strawbs album on 8-track. I got it for a song I think is called "Lady Fuschia", which might be the only song inspired by Mervyn Peake's "Gormenghast". Which is something else I recommend.


    As for Johnny Cash, I like/love many of his songs. If you like "Ring of Fire", look for the version by Wall of Voodoo. It sounds like it was recorded in the Death Star engine room, with all the rhythmic zap-like sounds.

  9. dmarks-- I can't believe that I found another Strawb fan. Cool beans. I have not listened to Gormeghast by Mervyn Peake. I will check it out now though. Great information... thanks for sharing all it.

  10. Churlita-- Thanks. You have fun musical taste... one of the many things I enjoy about your blog. Care to jump in and share a list?

    dmarks-- You too!

  11. dmarks-- Greg Lake is going to chat live on line on the 15th... you can sign up to ask him questions. I belong to his blog... with a bazillion others I'm sure. Are you interested?

  12. "Gormenghast" is not an album. It's a series of British fantasy books that came out around the time that "Lord of the Rings" came out. But it is nothing like "Lord of the Rings" at all.
    It was a BBC miniseries ten or so years ago. It starred Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Christopher Lee was in it, and stole the show any time he was on. This was shortly before Lee's career was re-launched in a big way with his Lord of the Rings movie and "Star Wars" movie roles.

    Fuschia was the main female character.

  13. dmarks-- Yikes! You stumped the librarian on a book item. hahahaha... it actually happens a lot, but don't tell.

    Now I really have to check it out. I wonder if the series can still be located. I'd love to see it. I am a Christopher Lee fan.

  14. Also, Christopher Lee's character in Gormenghast was named Flay. I think the character had to have inspired the character Filch in "Harry Potter". The character has a similar profession (hanging around a huge castle).

    Gormenghast itself might have inspired the Hogwarts castle. There are similarities there, too.

    One web page talks about both places:

    "I have complained that Rowling doesn't have the chops to provide the sense of awe and wonder that Hogwarts deserves; in fact she wastes very little ink on describing it at all. Peake succeeds in that, and the various rooms and hallways of Gormenghast provide some of the books' most captivating passages. Like Hogwarts, it is riddled with secret passageways and bizarre corners; one of my favorites is the tallest part of the castle, the Tower of Flints, where the Death Owls live who pick into oblivion anyone condemnded to death. Elsewhere it is a labyrinth of chambers, attics, roofs, and quadrangles."

  15. Here is a nice page on Flay, with the original illustration, and a photo of Christopher Lee in the role.

  16. dmarks-- You really are a treasure trove of information! Thanks for the links... you can bet that I'm going to go follow them. I love discovering stuff like this.

  17. playing catch up once again. i was anxious to see your list because i knew it would be interesting. you did not disappoint.

    as to older posts. i admire you for being able to teach squeaky to drive. i have told mr. lime that's his job since i don't think my heart can handle it.

    the time at the beach looks like it was wonderful!

  18. Hum, I've never been a fan of albums, they stick things on them I don't care about and I'm not interested in buying one for crap I don't care about.

    I don't think I've ever paid much for music, there is so much of it out there for free.

    Mean while, I hear the train a cuming, it's cuming round the bend and I ain't seen a snowflake since I don't know when.

    Hey, wait a minute, I don't give a shit if I ever see another snowflake, it's nice and warm in my cell, ha ha ha ha ha ha

  19. You have such awesome taste!!!

    Cracks me up to remember Alvin and the Chipmunks... I used to play that nonstop at Xmas time when I was young. My parents wanted to murderate me, but I was happ-happ-happy as could be to hear their shrill voices singing away...

  20. Sebastien-- Me too! I also drove them nuts with a record called "Night On Bald Mountain" that had wonderfully maniacal classical music that wound up into a frenzy as it got louder and louder.

    Good times!